Martha’s Vineyard Buses Go Electric

The Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) has taken delivery of five BYD battery-electric buses, with a sixth bus scheduled to be driven off the ferry onto the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard by the end of July.

The order was comprised of four BYD K9S 35 ft. models and two K7 30 ft. models. The K7 bus has a capacity of 22 passengers, while the K9S has a capacity of up to 32 passengers. The VTA also announced it will purchase an additional four BYD buses.

The buses will replace six diesel buses as part of the VTA’s plan to convert its fleet to electrification. 

“We are excited to begin transforming our fleet with these six BYD electric buses,” said Angie Grant, Administrator of Vineyard Transit Authority. “VTA is the first transit agency in Massachusetts to commit to going all-electric. This delivery is a milestone for both VTA and our state to begin the shift of electrification.”

BYD said VTA selected it to manufacture its first set of electric buses because of the company’s battery warranty, mile range and selection of sizes and models, which accommodate Martha’s Vineyard’s road network. VTA reportedly provides 1.4 million rides a year.

The proprietary BYD iron-phosphate batteries that power the K7 and K9S are manufactured in Lancaster, Calif. This company said the battery is nontoxic, recyclable, fire-safe and long-cycled. BYD offers a 12-year warranty on its batteries.

VTA purchased the buses through several federal and state grants received last year. In addition, the VTA is installing solar canopies and received a grant that will allow it to store energy made during the daytime to charge the buses at night.